Trad surf bands will happily fly the banner of being a surf band. Their albums are typically a simple selection of good, upbeat songs and are happy with that humble scope. It's not 100% cut-and-dry, and I'm bending my own rules on a few bands here, but these are records that make me happy to be a surf nut. And a side note: I'm including bands that might not strive for a California 60's sound but are otherwise retro-mimicking.
Surf has always had strong visual iconography attached to nudge how we interpret these instrumentals. We've built and expanded upon that just as we've transformed the music over the years. Here are some of the records where the art really stood out to me this year.
Treblemakers - Treble Stomp (Flippin the Bird)
LOS FRENETICOS - rosa rosa (el sonido que perdura)
Los Pontiaks - Bad Boy Boogie (Motel Acapulco)
Hattori Hanzo Surf Experience - Vesper Martini con Valentin Moldovan (Meanwhile in Mallorca)
Dr. Triton - Kampai! (Surfing Contest)
The Avalanches - Avalanche (Ski Surfin')
The Glaciers - Holiday Hill (From Sea to Ski)
The Buddies - Ski Jump (Go Go With the Buddies)
The Snowmen - Ski Storm (muscle bustle)
Pastels - Jungle Run (Jungle Exotica Vol 1)
The Dynamics - JAJ (Bolo Bash)
These lists are never definitive, I always miss a few but there's a lot! More than last year!
If something is bolded it means it was reviewed on this site. I'm only including releases that are over 50% instrumental. Big thanks to Kevin Kamphaus and Nestor Burma for helping me fill in some gaps.EPs
My definition of EP is between 2 and 7 songs. Some 7-song records might be classified as an LP if there are longer tracks. I did not track singles (as in one track releases) because it starts getting out of control.
The Gremmy Awards are Storm Surge of Reverb's yearly awards recognizing some of the most oustanding surf and instro albums of the year. Keep in mind that Storm Surge of Reverb is really just one person, and so for the most part these are just the tastes of one idiot. That idiot has listened to an awful lot of this music, but certainly not all of it. I try to balance it out a little bit by contacting a few people that I know are big surf superfans and whose opinions I respect and having them write Guest Gremmys. Also, these awards are really supposed to be the cream of the crop.
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Surf/Instro Release Schedule
Click on the back arrow to see previous releases. To add your album email me.